Streaming now on Netflix
Bollywood has an interesting relationship with the underworld. Time and again, we have seen movies like Satya, Vaastav, and Shootout at Lokhandwala in which we are introduced to the gangsters that were a rage in the ’80s and early ’90s. From that period comes yet another story, this time focussing on police officer Dean Vijay Pratap Singh (Bobby Deol) who in his first year at a police training facility teaches five youngsters about organized crime in Mumbai. Once they are enrolled in the police force, these students from the Class of ’83 follow his teachings and go on a rampage against Kalsekar, who is the kingpin responsible for the crimes in the city. Even a separate task force is created to support their mission but it all starts going south when due to an error, innocent people are killed.
The fight between law and order is real
Bollywood movies in the ’80s showed a lot of cops who turned vigilantes because they found themselves shackled by law. The difficulty these cops face in trying to get justice while staying in the purview of the law is shown multiple times through the film. It is only when they try to subvert the law that they are successful in making a difference. Vishnu Varde (Hitesh Bhojraj), Bhupendra Jadawat (Pramod Shukla), Aslam Khan (Sameer Paranjape), Lakshman Jadhav (Ninad Mahajani), and Janadan Surve (Prithvik Pratap) are the new recruits trained under Dean Vijay Singh and it is in their actions that we see the real battle between maintaining order and upholding the law.
Real questions don’t have real answers
Bobby Deol makes a powerful comeback and it seems that he is getting roles that are perfect for his caliber. Actors like Hitsh Bhojraj, Sameer Paranjape, Ninad Mahajani, Prithvik Pratap, and Pramod Shukla who made their debut with this movie have also impressed and we would like to see more of them. A lot of real questions about ‘punishment postings’ and ‘politics-mafia bonds’ are addressed in the movie with no satisfactory conclusion. At the same time, the movie tries to also address other things. There are strikes by mill workers and the eventual closure of mills and their resale that has no real connection to the primary storyline. Certain other sub-plots like the eventual corruption of police officers and the competition between them for credits could have gotten more prominence.
Class of 83 fails to stick the end
The movie starts off well, addressing real problems cops face against gangsters. There is a great deal of effort and planning that goes into planning an encounter and a lot of loose ends that need to be tied up. We see the process for the first one but the ones that follow only involve the final shootout. Even the entire process of meeting Kalsekar is too swift to be true and the end makes you sad for the wasted potential in the movie.
WATCH OR NOT:
If you have loved the cop movies of the ’80s and ’90s, you should already be streaming Class of ’83. The movie is loosely inspired by S. Hussain Zaidi‘s The Class of ’83 and fans of the book should definitely not miss the movie. Bobby Deol’s digital debut ticks all the right boxes for a perfect weekend watch.
Director: Atul Sabharwal
Writer: Abhijeet Shirish Deshpande, Atul Sabharwal
Cast: Bobby Deol, Anup Soni, Bhupendra Jadawat, Ninad Mahajani, Hitesh Bhojraj, Sameer Paranjape, Prithvik Pratap, Pramod Shukla
Streaming on: Netflix